DIY: Monitoring my chillies

People that know me personally, know that I'm a sucker for hot food. I even grow my own chillies every year. Chillies do not natively grow in western europe, they typically require a warmer climate. The main reason is that the seeds require a soil temperature somewhere between 24°C and 32°C to germinate, depending on the variety. The ideal temperature is even a whopping 28°C.

With our modest temperatures they would never germinate in time to come to fruitation. Once germinated and grown sufficiently though, they can withstand colder temperatures, anything above freezing point will do, so you can start them inside and put them outside when the frost period is over, even here in Belgium or far more up north (@noopman grows them in sweden for example with great success.)

Next week, first week of february, I will sow this years batch, so that the fruits will be ready somewhere between July and October. And as you can tell, it's a challenge to keep them warm enough this early in the year for successfull germination.


The requirements

So I decided to start a little DIY internet of things project that keeps an eye on them during the germination and early growth phases.

I want to monitor the temperature for the first 6-8 weeks, ideally from my phone so that I can call my wife to turn on the heating or growing lamps (cheap fluorescent/TL lamps) or even turn them on directly through an app if I can figure out how to do that. Note that light is not required for germination, only for growth.

So basically I want a sensor driven app where I can see the remote & current temperature (averaged over half an hour or so will do) and I want a push notification when the temperature drops below 18° during that time frame.

During the next days/weeks I'll share with you my experiences through a series of blog posts, so stay tuned.